Study Finds Yelling at Your Kids is Bad for Them

September 5, 2013  |  
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There have been enough studies that show that physical punishment isn’t the best for kids, nor is it especially effective in the long run. Now, new research from the University of Pittsburgh finds that yelling at teenagers is actually bad for emotional development as well.

This latest study is one of the first to study the effects of harsh verbal punishment, including yelling, swearing or using insults. Dr. Ming-Te Wang studied 967 teens from middle-class families for two years. In those two years, the affects of harsh verbal punishment proved to be just as emotionally damaging as corporal punishment. Teens who received harsh verbal punishment often were more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms, as well as the very problem behaviors their parents wanted to steer them away from. They were also more likely to exhibit antisocial behavior and vandalism. This held true even if parents were close to their kids, showing the “I’m doing this for your own good” approach didn’t actually make a difference to how teenagers felt.

So what’s a parent to do? According to the Pittsburgh study, “parents who wish to modify the behavior of their teenage children would be better advised to communicate with them on an equal level, explaining their worries and rationale to them. Parenting programs..are well positioned to offer parents insight into the ineffectiveness of harsh verbal discipline, and to offer alternatives.”

Do you feel like information like this leaves your hands tied, or will you go right ahead yelling at your kids when they need it?

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